Asked on Sep 10, 2019

How do I properly cap a live wire?

by Bernadette

Hello! We are purchasing a home and a live wire was flagged in our inspection. The inspector said it’s an easy fix. I’m just beginning to learn about home DIY. I was hoping someone could tell me a step by step on how to properly cap and box these wires. Thanks so much!

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  8 answers
  • R Walter R Walter on Sep 10, 2019

    Depending on whether the wire is running up the wall or coming thru the wall, you can use an outside mount box for up (if out you would also need to run the exposed wire thru conduit) and an old construction box for in (depending on if there is a hollow section behind the wall) then run the wire (make sure you throw the breaker or pull the fuse) thru the box and use wire nuts to cap each individual wire, then put a solid cover over the box. You could also install an electrical outlet on the wires if you need one in that area. I have some experience with electrical work but by no means a licensed professional. It is not safe to just push the wires back thru the wall. all junctions and ends must be accessible to meet code

    • Bernadette Bernadette on Sep 11, 2019

      Creating a new outlet is something I didn’t even think of! Maybe that’s what this was at one point?? Thanks for your suggestions and help. I think I can do this!

  • Gk Gk on Sep 10, 2019

    Hello Bernadette! It is an easy fix! Just make sure you shut off the electrical breakers so there is no power going to those wires before you attempt capping it off. You can get a tester that will tell you if the power to the wires is off and you will need what is called a wire nut.

  • Kelly-n-Tony Kelly-n-Tony on Sep 11, 2019

    You should ask the seller to fix it. That's not usually thr buyers problem


  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Sep 11, 2019

    Cut off the power. Purchase wire nuts. They look like a tiny cap. They are made for this job. Screw onto the end of each wire. Use electrical tape to secure the wire nut to the wire. Then you are done.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Sep 11, 2019

    I would ask for the seller to resolve this. If too late for that, shut off the power, use an inexpensive power tester to prevent shock, and wire a surface mounted outlet. Electricians around here start at 60 dollars an hour, so watching some videos will make you more comfortable for a simple project. I've paid the money in the past when I couldn't fix something myself (and they charge the full hour even if it takes a few minutes for them to resolve it. Capping them is a temporary fix at best. Good luck and be safe!

  • William William on Sep 11, 2019

    Can't just wire nut the live wire and leave it. It needs to be in an electrical box. Kelly-n-Tony is correct. The seller should fix it or give you a credit at closing to get if fixed. Mention this to your RE agent and attorney. As a former Realtor I would say $100 credit would be amicable. If you want to do it yourself R Walter has the right idea. First you need to check the voltage. Whether it's 110 or 220. If it's 110 you can use it for an outlet. Then cut the power off. Fish the wire through an electrical box and screw the box to the wall right at the pipe. If it's 110 you can connect an outlet with an outlet cover. If it's 220 wire nut each wire separately, stuff into the box, and a solid cover over mounted over the box.

  • Dfm7193 Dfm7193 on Sep 11, 2019

    to fix it-turn off the power at the breakers. there are caps to put on the live wires-basically the cap might have threads in it as well.if you know what the 3 wires do 1 is a hot wire, the second is a negative wire, the 3rd should be a neutral wire. You might be able to look up on the how to on how to wire it. by googling it of course. hope fully William will pop in for a read.

  • 17335038 17335038 on May 30, 2022

    These are the 'caps' that are being discussed. They are available in different colors (corresponding to the different functions of the wires) and sizes.